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I am doing a project in school for which I have chosen to use stepper motors to drive a conveyor. Reasons I chose these, and not BLDC or AC motors include their low cost, and ease and accuracy of control.

I purchased the Sparkfun Redboard, a 125 in-oz unipolar stepper motor and Brian Schmalz' Big Easy Driver; I am driving the Big Easy Driver using a 12V, 2A power supply. (Redboard runs off computer USB for now)

I have been having a few issues, which I have researched somewhat, but was hoping to get others' input on what I've come up with:

The motor exhibits a lot of vibration and noise, especially when microstepping. This is contrary to my understanding that microstepping should actually smooth things out. Also, when I try to use a pulse width less than 1 ms (the datasheet for the chip says the minimum pulse/delay is 1 ns), the shaft chatters rather than rotates.

Could this be a problem of too low voltage? I tried a 19V laptop power supply, but it fried a driver somehow, so I would prefer to try other solutions first. Also, could the fact that I'm using the default Arduino libraries and not Accelstepper contribute to this? (website is down, can't download it right now...)

Any input anyone has would be much appreciated.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Supply Issues, i would speculate at first. If you are driving a stepper motor make sure you have connections right. These motors have a exceptional learning curve, but once you are accustomed to it; they seem easy. \$\endgroup\$ – ammar.cma Jan 7 '16 at 6:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ There will be a maximum step rate for your motor (torque output drops off with speed) - 1ms pulse will probably be the no load step rate limit for your motor regardless of the drive characteristics. Increasing voltage may help, but are you sure your supply can provide enough current? \$\endgroup\$ – Icy Jan 7 '16 at 9:16
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Try giving at least 10ms gap between each pulse. I was using stepper motor with pulse width 100ms, but I was not getting proper steps. It may be due to hysteresis. So before each pulse add at least 10ms gap. I am not sure will it work for microstepping.

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